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Educators: Using the Outschool Website
Auto-scheduled Sections for Group Classes
Auto-scheduled Sections for Group Classes

How to meet parent schedule requests automatically

Tegan Bombard avatar
Written by Tegan Bombard
Updated over a week ago

Outschool can help you dynamically match your schedule with that of interested families. If you have auto-scheduling turned on, you can set your recurring weekly availability and add any one-off exceptions, such as for an appointment or a vacation. Note that you can control auto-scheduling per-class. Auto-scheduling is particularly effective for one-time classes.

If a family chooses a time slot from your availability, Outschool will automatically create a new section at the requested time and let them enroll. Class times open for auto-scheduling will not appear on your teaching schedule until at least one learner enrolls.

From the family's perspective, this lets them request a time and then immediately enroll. You are able to set the length of time into the future that parents can schedule a section. By default, parents can schedule a section based on your availability up to 90 days in advance. If you have a schedule where you can accommodate parent availability, this is a great way to meet the demand for your classes.

If you don't have auto-scheduling turned on for a class, then families are able to submit schedule requests. Learn more about schedule request.

Managing your schedule

To take advantage of auto-scheduling, you need to set your schedule availability. You’ll see the option to provide your availability under the "Group Class Availability" tab. You can click on the column or row header for a given hour of the day, or day of the week, to select all the checkboxes in that corresponding column or row.

Enabling Auto-Scheduling for individual classes

You can control which classes are enabled for auto-scheduling. We've provided easy controls to add all your classes, all one-time classes, or each desired class one at a time. You can also set the minimum number of days in advance a family can auto-schedule for each individual class that you enable.

Buffer Between Scheduled Classes

To prevent being scheduled for classes immediately back-to-back, you can set a "buffer" between 5 and 60 minutes between scheduled classes. To help improve booking conversions and maintain schedule consistency, Outschool will consider the length of the class meeting when implementing the buffer. The next available meeting time will be rounded up to the nearest 15-minute interval.

For example, using a 5-minute buffer for a 25-minute class meeting starting at 1 PM and ends at 1:25 PM, families will be provided options to enroll into a new section starting at 1:30 PM. If this same section has a 10-minute buffer, the next available time for families to enroll will be 1:45 PM since 10-minutes after the meeting ends does not fall on an interval of 15-minutes.

Setting Exception Dates

Need to fine-tune your availability? No problem! If you have a conflict at a time where you are usually available, such as an appointment or a vacation, you can add an unavailable time block. This will prevent sections from being created during that time. To block a time, click the “add exception dates” button. You can block off as little time as 5 minutes, or as much as multiple weeks!

You’ll be able to see all of your exception dates listed on this schedule page.

Exceptions dates listed on the Group Class Availability page only apply when families auto-schedule group class sections. To add or block availability in 1-on-1 classes, review 1-on-1 Classes for Educators.

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